Review of Last Night in Montréal

As in her other works, St John Mandel demonstrates a uniquely brilliant ability to layer time and recollection along a strong narrative thread. The reader is both engaged with and kept attracted to characters and secrets gradually and skillfully revealed.
There is a very strong hint in this novel of what is to come in the Glass Hotel. I was introduced to her writing through Station Eleven which resonated strongly and then Glass Hotel which simply captivated me. In both instances, there is a small cadre of well-developed and broken characters on an unintentional journey of self-discovery. There is also a very thin veil between lived reality and something supernatural just beyond and running beneath the surface of the novels.
I’d judge Glass Hotel to be the more polished and tighter of the two – but in Last Night in Montreal, there is a greater challenge to the reader to make guesses as to the backstory and try to challenge the pace of the author.
Dark and evocative but hopeful, and as the debut novel, one can retroactively appreciate the promise that increasingly been fulfilled in her subsequent works.

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